Basanta Adventure Treks & Expeditions (BATE) wants to contribute positive impact in socio economy and environment. Therefore we are committed to promoting sustainability. Concern for the environment and promoting a broader sustainability agenda are integral to our company’s professional activities and management.
We aim to contribute to economic, environmental and social progress with a view to achieving sustainable development, and to help our clients achieve responsible trips. Therefore, we follow and promote good sustainability practice, to reduce the environmental impacts of all our activities and to help our clients and partners to do the same.
Our Sustainability Policy is based upon the following principles:
For more information:
Ms. Prerana Thapa
CHILDREN AID CARE (CAC)
CHILDREN AID CARE, CAC is a small charity founded by retired woman teachers in 1996. CAC is involved mostly in the field of Education programs for children. They have successfully helped rebuilding an old school into a brand new school which has become a model school in Kabre district, this is Government school not less than a private school, and this school is called Sri Ram Secondary school which is located approx. 50km south east of Kathmandu in Kabre district.
In Nepal Government school are weak in management and quality of education due to negligence by the Government, CAC, organize special activities for students and training to local teacher to motivate them to teach quality education, in some school CAC has sponsored salary to employ extra teacher to help boost for quality education, Government do not provide enough teachers compare to numbers of student. Sometime, there are more than 70 students in one class.
Program supported by Basanta Adventure
Basanta Adventure have been closely working with CAC in their sponsorship program for education of under privilege student with the help of few well noble people. At present there more than 10 student being studying in Government school in Kosidekha village, Kabre district (south east of Kathmandu).
CAC have successfully completed several one off project such as repair and retrofitting of Basukhi secondary school after school was damaged by earthquake in 2015, fund was managed by Basanta Adventure with the help of some interested trekking group.
The Centre for Environment Education Nepal (CEEN)
The CEEN was founded in Baisakh 2056 (May 1999). It is registered with Lalitpur District Office and has also been affiliated with the Social Welfare Council and NGO Federation Nepal, Lalitpur. Its main mission is to create 'Environmental Action through Awareness' among the citizens - teachers, students, businessmen and the general public. Since its inception, the CEEN has been undertaking action-research environmental activities for schools and communities for fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Project supported by Basanta Adventure
Undertaking social/environmental activities in schools
Nepal presently is at the crossroads of fast political changes and serious environmental problems. One of the most important tools to counterbalance these changes and to promote a balanced development in all parts of Nepal is education, Environment Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in particular.
The paradigm change in education in the global front needs to be timely woven into the teaching-learning activities for a long-term impact resulting in attitudinal and behavioural changes amongst the future citizens. One of the most devastating results of human activities is climate change and its impact in Nepal is very severe with glacial outbursts, melting of snow, flood, change in seasons and increase in tropical diseases, etc.
As bulk of Nepal's population is comprised of school-going children and youth, they need extensive exposure to understand Nepal's rich natural, social values and cultural resources with associated problems and issues, mainly the cumulative impact like Climate Change and increasing social disharmony. This exposure and education program is hoped to encourage them be better observers, analyzers, disseminators, decision makers and protector of our environment, social and cultural values.
The proposed project concept:
In order to sensitize maximum young people and their families and relatives, the Centre for Environment Education Nepal (CEEN), with close collaboration with Eco-Network, Smart Minds and Awareness 360, has launched a project named "Smart Eco Task Force-SDGs in Action" in five private schools of Lalitpur district to start with. Each school has formed Smart Eco Task Force (STEF), a group of students which will coordinate and implement different activities. A yearly Action Plan has been worked out. The SETF will carry out various activities that will address environmental, social and cultural issues and plan and undertake action research activities in their schools and the surrounding communities contributing to the national mandate of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The program will also include session on leadership development. Volunteers from CEEN will oversee the activities along with the lead teacher and lead students at each school. We plan to increase the number of schools as we move on and start receiving more support.
It is anticipated that the students and youth involved in the project will be directly sensitized on the environment and its associated issues. Besides, the teachers community will also be directly benefit from the program. On the other hand, the message and information on will be disseminated to the family members and relatives of every student, thereby reaching maximum people. This is expected to enhance environmental awareness and appropriate action. Besides, sponsoring institution/individual will also be promoted alongside and reach maximum number of people.
Sustainable and Responsible Guideline for field Staff:
Guides must be trained in the principles and application of Leave No Trace, appropriate to
As determined by The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics:
i. Plan Ahead and Prepare.
ii. Travel and Camp on Durable Surface and Camp on Durable Ground
iii. Dispose of Waste Properly.
iv. Leave What You Find.
v. Minimize Campfire Impacts.
vi. Respect Wildlife OR Respect Farm Animals & Wildlife.
vii. Be Considerate of Other Visitors or be Considerate of Your Hosts & Other Visitors.
viii. Training must be geographically appropriate to the location in which the guide is leading.
ix. Emphasis on this application of principals must include efforts to stop poaching and trading of illegal wildlife products.
Additional principles exist and must be adhered to, as designated
a. Educate yourself and others about the places you visit.
b. Purchase only the equipment and clothing you need.
c. Take care of the equipment and clothing you have.
d. Make conscientious food, equipment, and clothing consumption choices. Minimize waste production.
e. Reduce energy consumption.
f. Get involved by conserving and restoring the places you visit.
Guides must be aware of and, where applicable, incorporate into their guiding the following principles outlined by The International Ecotourism Society
a. Minimize physical, social, behavioral, and psychological impacts.
b. Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
c. Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
d. Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
e. Deliver memorable interpretative experiences to visitors that help raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climates.
f. Recognize the rights and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous People in your community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment.
Guides must be aware of and, where applicable, incorporate into their guiding the following
Principles outlined by Basanta Adventure Treks and Expeditions Pvt. Ltd.
a. Maximizing social and economic benefits to the local community and minimizing negative impacts.
b. Maximizing benefits to cultural heritage and minimizing negative impacts.
c. Maximizing benefits to the environment and minimizing negative impacts.
d. Protection of children from harmful effects of tourism as represented by the organization:
e. Guide has a responsibility to document and report the use of illegal and unethical activity in the areas that he / she is guiding in, including vendors and partners engaging in such acts. This includes child and human trafficking, illegal prostitution, and uncompensated/under-compensated labor.
f. Who the guide reports such behavior to depends on company protocol, and the specific jurisdiction in which he/she is guiding.
Date of approval/updated: August 2019
Sustainability of an accommodation establishment is of key importance, as it enables our company to extend sustainability practice throughout a core element in our tours/ supply chain. In most cases we do not select the accommodation for our clients. In such case, it is our policy to recommend our clients the most sustainable accommodation options within their budget range. When we do have a chance to select the accommodation, we will give strong preference to establishments that follow sustainable practices throughout all aspects of their operation.
This policy will be part of the Sustainability Policy. The policy is applicable to the selection of accommodation suppliers that our company collaborates with.
This policy is effective immediately after approval by Managing Director and circulation to staff. The policy will be formally reviewed every 2 years to ensure its relevancy. The Managing Director or an officer delegated with such authority must approve any deviations to this policy.
In our effort of selecting the most sustainable accommodation providers available, we prefer establishments who follow these core principles:
The establishment is hygienic, sanitary and safe and is able to offer a good comfort and service to the expectation of our clients. Sustainable accommodation practices can be found in all price ranges; hence we aim to identify the most sustainable options available within the budget of our clients.
The establishment follows fair business practices, including transparency and adherence to law, human rights and economic/social equity, and environmental and animal protection.
The establishment places high priority on sustainable practices, aiming at minimizing its effect on the surrounding environment and society.
Internationally certified accommodation currently does not exist in Nepal; however there are establishments that are known for their good practices. Sustainable practices can be found in all budget ranges. Hence our company mainly looks at their practices to identify the more responsible suppliers.
Evaluations of the accommodation by our company can be made in several ways:
The following considerations will be made in the evaluation of accommodation establishments and will inform our company preference:
We aim to work with establishments with sound care for their human resources, which is of key importance to the hospitality sector. Hence, we assess if the establishment provides good labor conditions for their staff (minimum wage, reasonable working times, proper lunch hours, etc.).
No plastic policy
The accommodation minimizes the use of plastic and as a common practice does not offer plastic water bottles to its guests. Instead the establishment makes available places where guests can re-fill jugs that are provided in the room and their own bottles.
We verify that the accommodation separates at least organic waste for composting and plastic for recycling. Establishments that are able to go beyond these basic waste management practices will be highly preferred.
The establishment follows energy efficiency practices, such as energy saving light bulbs, and energy efficient equipment. The accommodation provider advises their guests (e.g. through signs in the rooms and hallways) to switch off lights and electric appliances when not in use or has put in place an overall switch off plan (automated system).
The accommodation efficiently uses water. Places with a water saving system on their ‘western’ toilet and shower will be preferred over other. Places that make use of a bucket flush for the toilet and/or bucket shower also have a clear control over the amount used.
The establishment ensures that the rights of children are respected and safeguarded. If the supplier employs children below the age of 14, the business should ensure that there are special working conditions put in place to safeguard them(for example part-time or on internship basis).
Accommodations are stimulated to purchase and use local food products, which are produced based on fair trade and sustainability principles.
The accommodation limits their negative effect on local and global biodiversity wherever feasible (e.g. do not offer red listed species on the menu).
The accommodation building (exterior and/or interior) incorporates elements of local art, architecture, or cultural heritage.
The establishment respects the intellectual property rights of local communities and contributes to the local community in whichever way they can (e.g. sponsoring of local events, donation to local heritage sites).
Our company follows a long-term strategy to improve the sustainability of regular accommodation suppliers. Upon request or self-initiative, we support collaborative initiatives with other tour operators and/or stakeholders to promote sustainability among accommodations in our destinations.
When possible, we talk to the accommodation owner / manager about their current practices and what they could do to follow more sustainable practices (e.g. by visit from our manager or through our guides).
In addition, we may share best practice standards and guidance to our accommodation suppliers, including:
If it is revealed that an accommodation supplier acts on unsustainable practices, our company will give them a warning. If that supplier does not amend its practice, our company will end any form of collaboration (informal and contractual) and will blacklist that company from any further association.
Our company communicates with accommodation establishments in various ways.
Our most common communication is via email and phone. Particularly when sending emails, we are able to communicate on some sustainability aspects.
Once our booking is made, we supply the accommodation suppliers with a voucher to claim their payment. With our regular suppliers we have agreed to send this voucher via email, to avoid paper waste. However, there remain some suppliers in Nepal that prefer a paper proof.
We sign contracts with accommodation suppliers that we work with on a regular basis and with sufficient volume of clients. These contracts include an overview of our codes of conduct and sanctions, which the suppliers read and sign upon agreement.
When we have the opportunity, we visit the accommodation in person and talk to them about how they could improve on their services and become more sustainable. In many instances it is our guides who deliver these messages.
What we communicate
Our company promotes as a mandatory policy:
Our company will give preference to working with those accommodation establishments who are able to operate in a sustainable manner, taking responsibility for their impact on environment and society. Where we have enough volume, we may offer additional benefits, such as marketing of the hotel on our website or special contract conditions.
Date of approval: February 2017/ Updated August 2019
This employee handbook is a summary of policies, procedures and practices related to human resource management at Basanta Adventure Treks & Expeditions Pvt. Ltd. (BATE), Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Managing Director (MD) is accountable for leading an effective staff team and is thereby accountable for the development and implementation of the policies outlined in this manual. Managers are responsible for human resource management within their own staff teams and should reference this manual to ensure company consistency in the application of these practices.
The MD, under supervision of the company owner(s) is responsible for maintaining the procedures and systems that support human resource management for the company and is available to answer any questions or provide clarification on any content of this manual.
Who we are
BATE is a Travel Agency, originally founded in 1998, under trekking agency, under registration with Nepal Government Tourism Registration Number 621/058. BATE is a culmination of many years of the director' and staffs' experience in operating and enjoying treks, tours and travel in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and Sikkim.
The director's love and passion for travel and the countries in which we operate began with organizing easy trekking in the early 1990s. That led to organizing treks and expeditions in Nepal and Tibet, gradually the services and offers to produce a full range of culturaland adventure tours in the Himalayan regions including Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim for both small groups and tailor-maid clients.
Multiculturalbackground and local knowledge of the Managing Director made it easy for the company to provide services moreresourcefully. Our strategy to keep small group sizes and providing personal services to each individual client has been the key to the success of the company.
Basanta Adventure Treks &Expeditions offers:
Basanta Adventure is based in Kathmandu, Nepal. We have local representative in Lhasa (Tibet), Paro (Bhutan), Gyantok & Kalimpong (India).
The overall aim of the company is to be one of the best in our industries by achieving the highest standard of quality and focusing on sustainability work in all of our operations without any compromises to our services.
Our quality performance is one of our cornerstones of our company culture and considered a personal responsibility of all our employees and management. We are highly committed to the principle of sustainable and quality management by following our mission:
This Policy shall apply to all employees of Basanta Adventure Treks & Expeditions except for those whose appointment has been made under a contract basis where a separate terms and condition for employment is applicable for specific case and for those whose engagement has been made on a temporary basis under wage basis for any specified work.
In case the provisions mentioned in the appointment letter are found to contravene National Law, due to amendment made on Act and Policy, the provisions of amended Act and the Policy, shall be applicable.
HR Management Policy Framework and Employment Legislation
Getting the Right People
Recruitment is through an objective, consistent process and an approved job description is completed for all positions.
All individuals external to the company, who are offered a position, sign a letter of employment that outlines the working relationship between the individual and the company.
The company is an equal opportunity employer and employs personnel without regard to race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, language, citizenship, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, physical and/or mental handicap or financial ability.
The company will only employ candidates above the age of 18 for full time engagement. The company may engage candidates above the age of 14 and under the age of 18 through internship or temporary part-time work contract (maximum 36 hours a week).
All new employees to the company shall receive an orientation session, which will encompass an overview of general policies, procedures and operations. They will have access to a copy of this Employee Handbook and will be expected to understand its contents.
Attached to an Offer of Employment, is a description of the job and the associated responsibilities, along with any additional tasks possibly required. From time to time, it may be necessary to amend an employee’s job description.
The first three (3) months of employment are probationary. During this time both parties may assess suitability for employment with the Employer. At the completion of the probation period, the employee and employer shall meet and review progress to date. At this time one of three things will occur:
i. Probation will end.
ii. Probation may be extended for an additional two months.
iii. Employment will end.
The Managing Director (MD), based on the company’s set standards, budget considerations and commensurate with the experience of the successful candidate, shall determine salaries. The company shall pay employees on a monthly basis, less the usual and necessary statutory and other deductions payable in accordance with the Employer’s standard payroll practices. These payroll practices may be changed from time to time at the Employer’s sole discretion. Currently, payday occurs in every first week of the new month and covers the pay period ended the previous month.
Hours of Work
The company recognizes a full time position as 48 hours per week (Sunday-Friday) and promotes flexible office time, due to the nature of the work. All employees are recommended to work on average 8 hours per day, Sunday through Friday, which includes a paid eating break of 30 minutes.The management may change the standard working hour and holidays from time to time as per the need of the business. Employees are each responsible for their own work hours and tasks. If an employee misuses the flexible office time, supervisor may intervene and pose restrictions or sanctions.
Employees are required to notify (letter) their supervisor, in advance, of planned days away from the office.
The company does not provide lunch. Lunchroom, kitchen and cooking facilities are available for employee to use and tea/coffee available for employee use anytime.
The CompanyrecognizesTen (10) public holidays and other days for which staff will be paid. The companysets ten of these. They are:
· New Year’s Day (1)
· Gyalpo Losar (1)
· Fagun Purnima Holi (1)
· Nepalese New Year (1)
· Labour Day (1)
· Ghatasthapana (1)
· Dashain (2)
· Tihar (2)
Some hours of overtime may be expected due to the nature of the work, though this should not be a regular occurrence. Should staff be required to work overtime equivalent to one full workday (8 hours) in one week, a time in lieu entitlement may be taken either the week prior or week following the overtime. Time in lieu for overtime cannot be accumulated.
Annual Leave will accumulate on the basis of .833 days per month to a maximum of ten (10) days per calendar year for full time employees. Employees working less than full time will have their rate of accumulation adjusted accordingly.
As annual leave is designed to give employees a chance to rest and rejuvenate, the employer encourages taking annual leave. Annual leave not taken will not be forwarded.
Employees will be entitled to five (5) days of sick leave per calendar year. Sick leave can be used for personal illness, personal medical appointments, and visits to specialists. Upon the morning of their sick day, employees are required to notify their supervisor, as soon as could reasonably be expected.
Regardless of the amount of sick leave accumulated, sick leave will not be paid out upon resignation, retirement, or termination of employment for any reason. Furthermore, since Sick Leave has no cash value, employees may not use more than they have accumulated, without the express written permission of the MD. Employees working less than full time will have their rate of accumulation adjusted accordingly.
Compassionate (Kriya) Leave
The Company will grant up to fifteen (15) working days per event on the occasion of a death in the staff member’s immediate family. Immediate family is defined as: parent(s), children, sibling(s), and spouse. In the case of female employees, also father-in-law or mother-in-law.
Additional compassionate leave may be granted at the discretion of the MD for reasons not covered elsewhere in this manual.
Leave without Pay
The MD may approve requests for leave without pay on a case-by-case basis. Maternity, Parental and Adoptive Leave will also be granted leave without pay.
Thecompanyoffers only its fieldemployees (guides and porters)Sagarmatha Insurance Co. Ltd. These benefits are 100% paid by the employer.
Employee savings in "The Citizen Investment Trust (CIT)" will be deducted every month per employees wish and deposited in the bank. Employee who terminateswill be given letter of leave from BATE after which employee can continue using CIT with other employees. Please note this is a government provident savings method.
Loans and Advances
The MD may approve request for loans or advances from time to time and decision will be on case-by-case basis. Loans and advances cannot be claimed as a matter of right.
Management may develop and provide performance bonus scheme to reward and retain performing employees.
The employees who have completed six months of service with the company shall be paid their respective one month’s gross salary per year and those who have less than six months of service shall be paid on pro rata basis to the number of months served as Dashian Festival Bonus.
The company will strive to provide professional development opportunities that will give employees the chance to attain their maximum career potential.
Every employee’s training and development needs are reviewed at least annually and plans established to address any gaps. During the development of the annual budget consideration is given to including appropriate resources to fund employee training and development.
The company will create learning opportunities for all staff on an annual basis to stimulate professional development. Internal learning opportunities can be provided in the form of:
The company may decide to extend its internal learning opportunities to representatives of its contracted suppliers by including them in the program.
At the discretion of the MD, employees may be able to attend conferences, training courses, seminars and meetings, which may be beneficial to the employee’s professional development. If these opportunities are directly related to the employee’s position, or are suggested by the MD, then the company will cover the cost of registration, course materials and where relevant some travel expenses.
If thecompany has agreed to pay for a course, the fees will be paid on evidence of successful completion.
Termination/ Nonrenewal for Cause
The Employer may terminate an Employment Contract at any time for cause, without notice or payment in lieu of notice or severance pay whatsoever, except payment of outstanding wages and annual leave pay to the date of termination. Cause includes, but is not limited to, any act of dishonesty, conflict of interest, breach of confidentiality, harassment, insubordination, or careless, negligent or documented poor work performance.
After completion of the first sixty (90) days of the probationary period, employees must give the Employer eight (8) weeks’ (2 months) notice of resignation. The Employer may waive the resignation notice period in whole or in part at any time by providing payment of regular wages for the period so waived.
Operation requirements are subject to change based on workload, natural calamity and the funding levels received on an annual basis. All efforts will be made to keep staff in a position similar, in scope and salary, to that they have become accustom to. If the company is unable to do this, then employees will receive one (1) week notice for each year of service.
Upon termination of employment for any reason, all items of any kind created or used pursuant to the employee’s service or furnished by the Employer including but not limited to computers, reports, files, diskettes, manuals, literature, confidential information, or other materials shall remain and be considered the exclusive property of the Employer at all times, and shall be surrendered to the MD, in good condition, promptly and without being requested to do so.
From time to time, employees of the company may come into contact with confidential information, including but not limited to information about thecompany’s members, suppliers, finances and business plans. Employees are required to keep any such matters that may be disclosed to them or learned by them confidential.
The company aims to provide an enabling work environment for its staff.
Freedom of association
All our staff is at liberty to decide whether they would like to join a trade union or not.
TheCompany wants to provide a harassment-free environment for its employees. Mutual respect, along with cooperation and understanding, must be the basis of interaction between members and staff. Thecompany will neither tolerate nor condone behaviour that is likely to undermine the dignity or self-esteem of an individual, or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
Complaints / Dispute Procedure
Regrettably, conflict can occur in any working environment. In an effort to resolve conflict in an expedient, yet fair manner, the company recommends the following process for conflict or dispute resolution.
Ø If the MD is unable to resolve a workplace dispute, the parties may be referred to mediation by an outside third party. The resolution of the mediator is binding on both parties of the dispute.
Representation to the Company
The company will have an annual all staff meeting in which staff members could present important work related matters to the management. During these meetings, employee satisfaction is measured and suggestions are taken into account.
The company, along with its employees, must take reasonable precautions to ensure that the workplace is safe. The company complies with all requirements for creating a healthy and safe workplace.
Employees who have health and safety concerns or identify potential hazards should contact theMD.
Safe Work Environment
To ensure a safe work environment for all staff, the company will ensure:
Guidance on Health and Safety
All staff members receive periodic guidance and training regarding their roles, rights and responsibilities regarding health and safety issues. This includes fire and relevant natural disasters (earthquake, floods). These topics will at least be included in the annual all staff meeting.
Disciplinary situations include misconduct and/or poor performance. If employers have a separate capability procedure they may prefer to address performance issues under this procedure. If so, however, the basic principles of fairness set out in this Code should still be followed, albeit that they may need to be adapted.
Grievances are concerns, problems or complaints that employees raise with their employers.
These procedures do not apply to redundancy dismissals or the non-renewal of fixed-term contracts on their expiry.
Elements of Fair Procedures
Fairness and transparency are promoted by developing and using rules and procedures for handling disciplinary and grievance situations.
Where some form of formal action is needed, what action is reasonable or justified will depend on all the circumstances of the particular case.